Philosophy study guide 2023/24

Philosophy at Bristol

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Bristol is considered one of the top in the UK, with a reputation for high-quality research in all aspects of the subject.

We are particularly well-known for our strength in the philosophy of science, very broadly construed to include e.g. logic and formal epistemology, but also have leading researchers in applied ethics, phenomenology and the philosophy of medicine. We also host the Centre for Science and Philosophy, which promotes the interpretation of science through collaboration with other disciplines. We continually have major research projects running in the department, each hosting a number of workshops, conferences, reading groups and visiting scholars throughout the year. For more details about our research see our people profiles.

Our student community is a busy and committed one, with a student-led Philosophy Society that organises regular social events and discussion forums.

Unit structure

The department offers many classes that are based in a single semester, and can therefore accept unit requests from Study Abroad students who want to join Bristol for just the autumn or spring semester.

Unit levels

The department offers units across all undergraduate levels of study: year 1 (level C/4), year 2 (level I/5), and year 3 (level H/6) units. Selected postgraduate units (Level M/7) are also available. Philosophy level M/7 units are suitable for students currently completing postgraduate studies at their home university.

Unit codes

Unit codes in the Department of Philosophy begin with 'PHIL'. This is followed by a number indicating the year (1, 2, 3). For example:

  • PHIL10000 = year 1 unit
  • PHIL20000 = year 2 unit
  • PHIL30000 = year 3 unit.

For more information about each unit, check the University's unit catalogue for 2023/24. Applicants on all study abroad programmes must review the unit details on the catalogue before listing unit choices on their application form. This includes checking the format of assessment for each unit. The unit catalogue for 2023/24 is updated by April 2023.

Your unit choices cannot be guaranteed. Some units may not have capacity to accommodate all of the unit requests we receive. Registration on a unit also depends on whether you meet the pre-requisite conditions through prior study at your home university.

Study Abroad (Subject pathway)

If you have been nominated to Bristol on the Study Abroad (Subject pathway), you must take the majority of your credits in this department.

Units available on the study abroad programme in 2023/24

The following units from the Department of Philosophy are open to inbound Study Abroad students.

Year 1 (level C/4)


  • Introduction to Formal Logic (TB1) - PHIL10014
  • Introduction to Philosophy A (TB1) - PHIL10005
  • Logic and Critical Thinking (TB1) - PHIL10032
  • Readings in Value Theory (TB1) - PHIL10033


  • Critical Reasoning (TB2) - PHIL10030
  • Introduction to Philosophy B (TB2) - PHIL10006
  • Knowledge and Reality (TB2) - PHIL10034

Year 2 (level I/5)


  • Beyond Humanity (TB1) - PHIL2NEW
  • Classical Chinese Philosophy (TB1) - PHIL2NEW
  • Philosophy of Language (TB1) - PHIL20017
  • Philosophy of Mind (TB1) - PHIL20010
  • Political Philosophy (TB1) - PHIL20012
  • Realism and Normativity (TB1) - PHIL20046


  • Aesthetics (TB2) - PHIL20136
  • Ancient Philosophy (TB2) - PHIL20040
  • Death, Dying and Disease (TB2) - PHIL20049
  • Ethics (TB2) - PHIL20011
  • Philosophy of Mathematics (TB2) - PHIL20039
  • Space, Time and Matter (TB2) - PHIL20053
  • Themes in Modern European Philosophy I (TB2) - PHIL20051

Year 3 (level H/6)


  • Beyond Humanity (TB1) - PHIL3NEW
  • Evil, Deviance and Crime (TB1) - PHIL30127
  • Philosophy of Biology (TB1) - PHIL30063
  • The Philosophy and History of Medicine (TB1) - PHIL30082
  • Probability and Rationality (TB1) - PHIL30078
  • The Ethics of Migration and Citizenship (TB1) - PHIL30118


  • Death, Dying and Disease (TB2) - PHIL30115
  • Feminist Philosophy (TB2) - PHIL30123
  • Philosophy in the Digital Age (TB2) - PHIL30132
  • Philosophy of Mathematics (TB2) - PHIL30090
  • Philosophy of Psychology (TB2) - PHIL30077
  • Philosophy of Science (TB2) - PHIL30049
  • Texts in Modern European Philosophy 2 (TB2) - PHIL30116
  • Themes in Ethics (TB2) - PHIL30137
  • Themes in Modern European Philosophy 2 (TB2) - PHIL30117

Year 4 (level M/7)

The following units are available to students who are currently completing postgraduate studies in Philosophy. These units are not suitable for undergraduates.


  • History of Science (TB1) - PHILM0007
  • Philosophy of Biology (TB1) - PHILM0006
  • The Philosophy and History of Medicine (TB1) - PHILM0022
  • Probability and Rationality (TB1) - PHILM0030
  • Value Theory (TB1) - PHILM0026


  • Epistemology and Metaphysics (TB2) - PHILM0021
  • Philosophy and History of Mathematics (TB2) - PHILM0016
  • Philosophy of Psychology (TB2) - PHILM0020
  • Philosophy of Science (TB2) - PHILM0033
  • Themes in Ethics (TB2) - PHILM0032

Application queries

Contact the Centre for Study Abroad inbound team if you have any queries about the application process for the study abroad programmes:

Phone: +44 117 39 40207


Students cannot audit units. Study abroad students are fully registered on units for credit purposes and must attend teaching only for classes that they are registered on.

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